Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at the prices of pre-1899 cartridge guns. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold, silver up as the bulls stabilize markets

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H.L. sent us this: How Effective Is Gold As a Hedge? History Has an Empirical Answer

Economy & Finance:

2019 US Productivity Rises Most In A Decade, Real Wages Jump Most Since 2015

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Another at Zero Hedge: Another Massively Oversubscribed Term Repo Confirms Persisting Liquidity Woes

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China faces dilemma as it tries to get back to work amid coronavirus outbreak fears following Lunar New Year

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A podcast, at Wolf Street Report: What Will the Coronavirus Do to the US & Chinese Economy?


LNG Prices Fall To 10-Year Low

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OilPrice News also reports: Crashing Copper Prices Spell Trouble For Oil.

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FOCUS: Wuhan virus likely to dent Q2 demand for steel, iron ore in Asia

Forex & Cryptos:

Coronavirus: China unlikely to defend falling yuan, despite US trade deal pressure, analysts say

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British Pound (GBP) Latest: Watch Out For The Valentine’s Day Massacre. A snippet:

As GBP/USD meanders sideways, traders in the pair would do well to focus on the end of next week. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to reshuffle his senior ministers next Thursday or Friday – St Valentine’s Day – in a move that will send a strong signal on whether his team will take a hard line in the upcoming negotiations with the EU post Brexit or a relatively softer stance.”

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Bitcoin ‘Best Bet’ in Crypto, XRP Will ‘Underperform’ — Mike Novogratz

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Altcoins Break Out Against Bitcoin After Six Months Of Sideways

Tangibles Investing:

As I was gathering inventory in the months leading up to the launch of Elk Creek Company, I noticed that the prices of pre-1899 guns are inflating more rapidly than those of modern (post-1898) ones. Part of this difference is attributable to their relative scarcity, but a good measure of it may be anxiety over the advance of “Universal Background Check” laws in Democrat-ruled states. I expect this trend to continue, in “Blue” and “Purple” states. Each state that successively closes the door on private party sales of post-1898 guns will ratchet up the prices for the tiny nationwide pool of available pre-1899 guns. The law of supply and demand is inescapable. People are willing to pay more, for privacy. Pre-1899 cartridge guns truly are the last bastion of gun buying privacy!

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“Examples?”, you ask. This auction a bit higher than I expected: Boer War Ludwig Loewe Mauser Carbine – Near Mint Condition All Matched 7mm. This is evidence that there is quite an interest in Boer War vintage guns (thise used on both sides of the fighting.) And ditto for guns of the Spanish-American War. (Again, on both sides of the fighting.) This M1892/6 Krag rifle is typical of recent auctions. But by the way, I wouldn’t quite call it “excellent”, with that much wear on the loading gate, barrel band, and front band.


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who closely watch specific markets. If you spot any news that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers, then please send it in. News from local news outlets that is missed by the news wire services is especially appreciated. And it need not be only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!



  1. If the economy is doing so well why does the Federal Reserve continue injecting billions of dollars into the repo market?
    The bond yield curve has inverted twice recently and signals the beginning of a recession.
    There has not been a word of this from the talking heads in the MSM.
    This is bad juju but most people ignore what is going on because they either don’t care or they are frightened by bad news.

    1. Read the transcript of Trump’s SOTU Address and tell me that he is not purposely setting himself as a scapegoat for the ‘Everything Bubble’. And while he supports zero conservative principles, they (and Deplorables) will be ‘guilty by association’.

      1. I saw no such thing in the State of the Union address. I saw the president correctly citing the economic statistics that no other administration can claim, great accomplishments that the previous president never even aspired to. Remember when Hussein told us all that “those jobs aren’t coming back” ? That is because he and his communist traitor cohorts are trying to destroy the United States of America.
        The president may or may not know that a reset is coming- there is no way to know. But in the mean time he is doing everything he can to minimize the damage to American citizens and to the American economy in case a collapse DOES happen. And I believe that he is sincerely trying to avoid such a disaster from happening if at all possible. And if ANYONE can do it, President Donald J. Trump is the one person who can do it.
        By the way, I don’t know how to respond your assessment of Trump’s ‘conservative’ principles. Trump is not a conservative. What have the so-called conservatives done for us since 1989 when Ronald Reagan was our president. Conservatism has come to mean ‘Socialist lite”. I am glad that President Trump is not a conservative. The principles that he conforms to are 1) putting America first in the world, 2) setting America back on the course that our founders and our patriots intended, 3) cleaning out the corruption that infests every segment of our Federal government, 4) stopping the infestation of illegal foreigners intended to corrupt the voting process, and 5) restoring the rule of law to our country. The president needs our prayers and our support.

  2. Hello ,First let me say I don’t want to be a party pooper. But i have looked at Elk creek and I would suggest that you pick up a copy of the Blue book of gun values by S.P. Fjestad . There are 5 models of the Smith & Wesson safety hammerless , this book gives you the serial range of each model an years of production.
    Condition means a lot when buying these old guns, so when you say 5 out of ten it makes me think 50% also modified and replacement parts affect value it really brings value down.
    Now I don’t know about Montana but over here in commie country we can buy some of these old gun’s cheap and I stress some. For instance at the last O.G.C.A show I could have bought a U.S. revolver in .38 s&w for $80 bucks( I know I should have) but I forgot my readers. This thing had good grips,all nickle was about 90%, the bore was new but it had what looked like a small crack, again forgot my readers. I understand a guy want’s to make a buck , and a guy also want’s to save a buck too, check out that book and you might pick up customers over here in commie country.

      1. I think your prices on Elk Creek are MORE than fair.
        A ton of the work is in finding, checking and making these available.

        JWR- one question – would you also recommend – for the sake of non-confiscation, black powered revolvers with a cylinder for conversion to cartridge?

        Thank you for all that you do – and God Bless to all SurvivalBlog readers.

        To all readers, please consider gently encouraging your families and friends to prepare – citing the CHANCE that the novel Coronavirus COULD become a big problem for us all.

  3. Can not the same stroke of a pen that enacts a universal background check also be used to remove the exception of pre-99 firearms to background checks and if so, what does that do to the value of those firearms?

    1. Yes, further legislation is always a risk. But the 1898=antique/1899=firearm threshold has been frozen by congress since 1968. That trifling and diminishing number of guns is less and less of an issue as time goes on. And congress can hardly justify calling 122-year-old guns somehow now magically “affecting interstate commerce.” That wouldn’t survive judicial scrutiny. (All Federal gun laws are jurisdictionally based upon the Interstate Commerce clause.)

  4. Wuhan virus update:
    Japan is dealing with 61 cases (so far) on a cruise ship that is docked there.
    America now has a docked cruise ship with suspected cases.
    China has just expanded their domestic lockdown from 60 million people to 400 million. Let that sink in…400 million people are in lockdown. No going to work. No shopping. No outside trips. That’s more than the total population of the United States.

    “Contained” and “peaked” do not seem to be words that should be bandied about by the media or the body politic.

  5. I’ve been watching .30-40 krags and Spanish mausers, both that were considered surplus firearms, double and triple in price.
    The worst thing I see is the dealers that are selling these relics want you to go through a background check. This is in no way an issue, but if you’re buying pre 1899 C&R firearm, an FFL check defeats the purpose.

  6. I have always wanted a krag since I have two bayonets for the krag that were brought back from ww2. No way would I entertain the idea with these prices, though.

  7. This whole house of cards will come crashing down sooner than later, if someone/something doesn’t strike the match and burn the whole shebang down first
    As I see it, and I’m no authority other than by years of observation, the fed res keeps injecting money and everything else they do into the system simply to keep the big banks, Wall Street, hedge funds etc. afloat. After all, they are to big to fail, meaning that’s the only thing propping up the entire just in time economy. I may be wrong but I have a horrible aversion to keeping any money outside of what I need to send through the mail to pay distant bills with. Banks and most everything associated with them are not your friend. Used to not be that way, but thats the way of our so called modern whirled….. If you don’t physically control it, it’s pretty much just a myth……..

    1. N S: You are not wrong. You are 100% correct. They have their tail in a crack and are trying to spend their way out of the jam. When ever debt is increased the dollar is devalued.

      This Ponzi Scheme is dependent on confidence of the masses to believe in a monetary system that has nothing to back it up. When that faith is gone it’s game over.

      Whatever you and I do will have no effect on the outcome one way or the other.
      Our only choice is to keep on keeping on with our preps.

  8. If the purpose of buying a pre 98 gun is to have it without a “paper trail” wouldn’t it be better (and you’d have a WAY more effective gun!) to simply build an 80% gun for yourself? Or two, or maybe more! Thanks!

  9. Also,
    Thank you to all on this site for the updates on the virus.
    The husband and wife from Chicago who have it were released home today from a hospital in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, to be watched closely.

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